Before you fly
US travel policy updates for 2021
We are so excited you will be coming to campus soon. To help make sure your journey is smooth, we have collected tips so that you are ready to travel in light of new COVID-19 guidelines. This page outlines criteria to board a plane to the USA. For direct access to policy information and guidelines, please go to this CDC website.
You will need to be fully vaccinated to travel to the US
As of November 8, 2021, if you are a non-US citizen who is/will be a non-immigrant traveler to the USA (example – F-1 visa holder), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated by an accepted COVID-19 vaccine before you travel by air to the United States from another country.
What does fully vaccinated mean?
You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks (14 days) after:
- your single dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine
- you received your second dose of an accepted two-dose series COVID-19 vaccine
- you receive two doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.
Read the CDC's definition for fully vaccinated.
What is an accepted vaccine?
Accepted COVID-19 vaccines are either:
- Approved or authorized vaccines by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Vaccines Listed for Emergency Use (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO)
You can see a complete list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines here. *Please note if a vaccine has recently been given authorization by WHO, it may take a few days for this to reflect on the CDC site. *
How do I show proof that I have a vaccine?
To board your plane, there are Procedures for Documenting Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination you will need to show. Please visit the Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination page and check the CDC's website for all forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have.
I don’t think I will be able to be fully vaccinated by an approved COVID-19 vaccine before I travel, what do I do?
There are some exceptions to the vaccine requirement. A full list of criteria for exceptions can be found here along with what documentation is required for boarding to prove the exception. If you met an exception, you will be required to provide proof that you meet that exception AND provide an Excepted Covered Individual Attestation form. Two exception categories that may apply to some international students are:
1) Persons under 18 years of age
This will be verified on your passport’s date of birth field.
2) Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability.
Here is a list of countries approved for this exception category.
Please note if you meet this exception you will need to provide a passport or other proof of citizenship from a country on the list provided by CDC; and a valid nonimmigrant visa that is not a B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visa.
Friendly reminders for US travel
At this time, all air passengers ages two or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccine status, must show a negative result of a COVID-10 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board a flight to the United States.
- If you are fully vaccinated by an approved COVID-19 vaccination, you must have a negative test result taken no more than three days before boarding your flight.
- If you meet an exemption to the vaccine policy, you must have a negative viral test result taken no more than one day before boarding your flight.
Complete the Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America – All passengers will be required to complete an attestation form to board the plane.
You will be required to wear a mask during the entire flight and while you are at the airport. It is always a good idea to bring a couple extra masks and change throughout the flight.
Check with your airline directly for any other protocol or procedures that you will need to follow.
Review CDC guidelines
This CDC website is the most up-to-date website on travel and vaccine policies. So, it is always important to review to make sure you are prepared to travel.
Arriving in the US: additional documents
When you get to the USA, you may need to show some of the above-mentioned vaccine and COVID test documentation at the border. Additionally, if you are an F-1 student you will be required to show the following:
- Passport (with at least six months validity)
- Form I-20
- F-1 Visa issued by the US Embassy / Consulate
- The address where you will be staying in the US
- While not required, it is a good idea to also bring your offer of admission, the phone number of the university international office and receipt of the I-901 (SEVIS fee) payment.